HD remake’s have been very hit and miss lately, and with Disney doing up Duck Tales, it was only a matter of time before their signature character Mickey Mouse got the HD treatment from arguably the best Disney game ever made. I am of course talking about the Castle Of Illusion, the game originally came out in 1990 on the Sega Genesis and became known famously for being a platformer than wasn’t a platformer.
The game starts out with Mickey and Minnie having a lovely picnic in the park, but after the evil wizard Mizrabel kidnaps Minnie, Mickey must travel to his castle and fight his way through every level of the castle to rescue his beloved.
The game is a platformer, but instead of running through levels as quickly as you can collection coins and what not, it is more of a slow moving game in which you are encouraged to collect every item and explore every hidden area. Enemies take the form of gigantic toy soldiers, jack in the boxes and other weird and wonderful creatures that can bounce you to other areas and unlock everything in a mere few hours. The secret to this gameplay is trial and error, it is really hard to actually die in this game and this encourages you to reach every area possible.
Visually this game is astonishingly detailed, the backgrounds and level design are true of the original including toy land, the forest and library are absolutely stunning. It sounds odd to comment on cartoons in high definition but you can really see the detail that has gone into this. The colours pop out in the level backgrounds and Mickey himself is animated beautifully.
While the levels stick to a 2D fairly flat level design, the boss levels do open the graphics up to a more 3D view. The design is a noticeable improvement from the original if you remember it. After you finish all of the levels you can re-visit any of the previously played levels using the Crash Bandicoot style level choosing system in the castle.
Overall this game is a beautiful reinterpretation of this Sega Genesis classic. Not only is it Mickey Mouse’s best game, it is also a Sega/Disney classic that has some incredible replay value. This is one of the best HD remakes of the current console and deserves your hard earned dollars!
Review by Alaisdair “Arrow” Dewar
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